Dog walker sought as ‘key witness’ in alleged Dublin kidnapping case

Suspect (20) released after being held for almost 24 hours in relation to Cabra incident

Investigators from Cabra and Blanchardstown Garda stations believe the man attempted to kidnap the woman on Monday morning following a night of drug-taking. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Investigators from Cabra and Blanchardstown Garda stations believe the man attempted to kidnap the woman on Monday morning following a night of drug-taking. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

 

Gardaí believe they require more evidence before they can recommend a kidnapping charge against a man suspected of bundling a woman into the back of his car in Dublin.

The 20-year-old suspect was released on Wednesday morning after being held for almost 24 hours in relation to the incident which left the woman, who is aged in her late 60s, badly shaken.

A file on the incident is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Investigators from Cabra and Blanchardstown Garda stations believe the man attempted to kidnap the woman on Monday morning following a night of drug-taking.

He has no connection to the victim and there is as yet no clear motive for the attempted kidnapping. It is understood the man, a father-of-one from north Dublin, said little of evidential value during multiple garda interviews.

The accused has several minor convictions for theft offences and is currently facing charges relating to multiple alleged “drive-offs” (leaving petrol stations without paying for fuel).

Renewed appeal

On Wednesday, gardaí renewed an appeal for witnesses to the attempted abduction. Shortly before the incident, the victim spoke briefly to an elderly woman who was walking her dog near Comiskey’s pub on Blackhorse Avenue.

“Gardaí are anxious to speak to this person who was walking their dog, and who may be in a position to assist with the investigation,” a spokeswoman said. Anyone with information is asked to contact Blanchardstown Garda station, where an incident room has been established, on 01-6667008.

Gardaí are also appealing to any road users, who may have dashcam footage, who were travelling in the Blackhorse Avenue area at this time to come forward.

The incident occurred as the woman was out for her regular morning walk. She normally walked through the adjacent Phoenix Park but decided against it that morning on safety grounds.

As she walked down Blackhorse Avenue she came upon a man standing beside a parked car, the boot of which was open.

The man initially tried to bundle her into the boot of the car but the woman fought back and used her arms and legs to prevent the boot from locking after she had been pushed inside it. Her attacker then tried to push her on to the back seat of the car but a passing motorist – a prison officer on his way to work – stopped and approached and the man sped off.

However, from the description of the suspect’s vehicle relayed to gardaí by the victim and witnesses, detectives quickly established the car had been linked to the recent petrol station drive-offs.

Using that information, a man was arrested and a car seized for examination in connection with the drive-offs. Further investigations by gardaí overnight into Tuesday established the same vehicle was in the area at the time of Monday’s attack.

Once the vehicle was placed at the crime scene around the time of the attack, the suspect in custody for the petrol station drive-offs was arrested on suspicion of abduction.